The Guppies Program is intended for young sailors interested in gaining confidence and comfort on and around the water; and a basic
introduction to the sport of sailing. The program will run for nine one week sessions (beginning June 24th), Monday through Friday mornings from 9:15 am to 11:45 am at the Polpis Harbor location; with the exceptions of July 4th week and the week of the Coffin Cup 7/19 which will be four day weeks.
The Guppies program includes a mix of basic learning activities and games with a focus on building confidence, safety and fun. Activities include rigging, steering and sailing a pram, harbor tours, sailing in a Hunter 140, water-based scavenger hunts, basic craft projects, and other sailing and marine related games and activities. Every Monday of each session there will be a parent and student meeting for the first half hour. Students are encouraged to bring a snack and a water bottle. We ask that students wear appropriate shoes (closed-toe) when participating in the Guppies program.
Students must turn 5 years old before 6/1/13 and must not turn 7 years old before 8/31/13. Students under 5 years old will not be permitted to participate. Students will be given a very basic swim check, while wearing a life jacket, to assess their comfort level in and around the water. This will not be a swim test and beginner swimmers are invited to participate in the program; life jackets will be provided and worn at all times.
Please note: the Guppies program is intended as a one or two week introductory course and we ask that parents limit enrollment of their sailor to no more than 2 sessions. The course curriculum is designed across two weeks, and not intended for sailors participating for nine weeks. Additionally, by designing the curriculum in this manner, we are aiming to accommodate as many young sailors as possible.
Students who are brand new to sailing or have little prior sailing experience are placed in our Hunter 140 class. This class, taught in 14' Hunter 140s (which include a main sail and a jib), allows students to learn the basics of sailing with the comfort of 2-3 peers and an
instructor on-board. Focus is mainly on having fun, while learning basic sailing skills, boat parts, points of sail, water safety, seamanship and sportsmanship.
Students in this class have the benefit of close peer and instructor interaction in a safe, stable boat. On the first day of each new session, student will have a basic swim check. While life jackets are provided and required when on the water, each NCS student should be comfortable in and around the water and have the basic swimming skills.
When the student's individual instructor, as well as the lead instructor of the Hunter class, feels that the student understands the rudiments of sailing and can handle the tiller and main sail on their own, the student is invited to move into the Opti Green class. The Hunter 140 Class is held at Polpis Harbor Monday - Friday mornings from 9:15 am-11:45 am and Monday - Friday afternoons from 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm. There will be no programs on July 4th due to the holiday and no programs on July 19th, due to the Coffin Cup. You must register for the coffin cup separately. We ask that students wear appropriate shoes when participating in the Hunter Program.
Students who are brand new to sailing, or have minimal experience, are invited to participate in the "Adventure Learn-to-Sail" class. The class will primarily be taught in Bugs, although other craft may be used from time to time. "Adventure Learn to Sail" will differ from our traditional beginner sailing class, taught in Hunter 140s, in that each student will sail alone in a Bug, and an instructor will instruct students from an accompanying skiff.
Instruction will be on self-rescue and water safety, and on building students' confidence by way of creative non-traditional lesson plans. An emphasis will be placed on instilling basic sailing skills through longer sails and other "adventures" around Polpis Harbor, West Polpis Harbor, and the Main Harbor. The same basic skills taught in our beginner Hunter Class will be taught in this class, although students will be expected to be slightly more independent, and will learn additional navigation skills, and about the geography of the Harbor. The goal of this class is to teach students in a non-competitive environment, while exploring Nantucket's waters by sail.
We ask that students wear appropriate shoes when participating in the Adventure Learn-to Sail Program. On the first day of each new session, student will has a basic swim check. While life jackets are provided and required when on the water, each NCS student should be comfortable in and around the water and have the basic swimming skills. The "Adventure Learn-to-Sail" class is held at Polpis Harbor Monday-Friday afternoons from 1-3:30pm; with the exceptions of July 4th week and the week of the Coffin Cup 7/19 which will be four day weeks.
Please note: the "Adventure Learn-to-Sail" program is intended as a one or two week introductory course and we ask that parents limit enrollment of their sailor to no more than 2 sessions. The course curriculum is designed across two weeks, and not intended for sailors participating for the complete season. Additionally, by designing the curriculum in this manner, we are aiming to accommodate as many young sailors as possible.
Students who have progressed through our Hunter 140 class, or who have a skill and interest level sufficient for single-handed sailing, are placed in our Opti/Bug Green class. This class, taught in a combination of Optimists (or "Optis") and Bugs, gives students the opportunity to try sailing either alone or with the company of one other student, but without an instructor.
The small sail plan of these boats, coupled with their durability, allow students a basic environment in which to learn how to sail alone. Focus is on expanding the concepts of the Hunter Class, introducing the basic concepts of racing and building confidence through both games and basic drills.
On the first day of each new session, student will have a basic swim check. While life jackets are provided and required when on the water, each NCS student should be comfortable in and around the water and have the basic swimming skills. The Opti/Bug Green sessions are held at Polpis Harbor Monday - Friday mornings from 9:15 am - 11:45 am. There will be no programs on July 4th due to the holiday and no programs on July 19th, due to the Coffin Cup. You must register for the coffin cup separately. We ask that students wear appropriate shoes when participating in the Opti/Bug Green Program.
When the lead Opti/Bug Green instructor feels that a student has sufficiently achieved the goals of the Opti/Bug Green program, the student
is invited to participate in our more advanced Optimist Blue class. The Optimist Blue class will allow students the opportunity for truly single-handed sailing, and will focus on more advanced sailing and racing techniques (such as starting and stopping, landings, capsizing, upwind strategies, tacking and gibing, etc.) Self-sufficiency will be promoted in the Optimist Blue class, although instruction will remain a key component.
If the lead Optimist instructor feels that the student has successfully achieved the goals of the Green and Blue classes, he/she will be invited to participate in our Optimist Racing Program. If the student is not interested in participating in the racing program, he /she is invited to remain in the Optimist Blue class until the age of 12 years. Upon turning 13 years old, students will be invited to participate in the Teen Green Program, located at our Jetties Beach location. The Optimist Blue sessions are held at Polpis Harbor Monday - Friday afternoons from 1 pm - 3:30 pm. There will be no programs on July 4th due to the holiday and no programs on July 19th, due to the Coffin Cup. You must register for the coffin cup separately.
We ask that students wear appropriate shoes when participating in the Opti Blue Program. On the first day of each new session, student will have a basic swim check. While life jackets are provided and required when on the water, each NCS student should be comfortable in and around the water and have the basic swimming skills.
** FAQ: When is a sailor "too big" for an Opti? NCS Opti coaches recommend that a sailor who is over 115 lbs and/or 5'2" sail in either Hunter Class, if under 12 years of age, or Teen Green, if 12 years of age or older. Private lessons may also be taken.**
**Private coaching is available in the Opti with one of our Opti instructors per availability of the instructor. These lessons can be scheduled through the NCS Main Office, and will be scheduled for a time, after 3:30pm and on a weekday, that is convenient for both the student and the instructor. Private coaching rates, because of the use of a motorboat during instruction, are slightly higher than normal private lesson rates.
Upon completion of our Optimist Green and Blue classes, students who are interested in participating in a racing-oriented team setting are invited by the Optimist racing coach, to participate in our Optimist racing class. Beginning the summer of 2013, this program will run out of the Children's Beach public boat ramp on Harbor View Way. Previous sailing instruction at NCS is a prerequisite and the members of the class are considered to be part of a team. Team-members are encouraged to participate on the team for as many week as possible, with a minimum of two weeks.
The Optimist racing team focuses on the more advanced aspects of racing, such as performance boat handling, acceleration, upwind
strategies, mark-rounding, downwind and reaching tactics, advanced tacking and gibing techniques, tactical finishes, sailing rules, etc. Students are both invited and expected to travel with the team to compete in a number of on and off-island regattas, which will be scheduled by the Optimist racing coach. On-island events include the Admiral Sir Isaac Coffin Cup and Jobson Cup in July and Nantucket Race Week in August. Off-island events include the Stage Harbor Opti Regatta, Bass River Opti Regatta, Wianno Opti Regatta, Hyannisport Opti Invitational, among others. Students from NCS, Nantucket Yacht Club and the Great Harbor Yacht Club Opti race teams will practice together regularly off of Monomoy and behind First and Second points, and will compete against each other in an all-island series each Thursday held at a mutual on-island sailing location.
The Optimist racing class provides team-members with a unique and enjoyable environment for continued learning and competition. Students who are interested in keeping with Optimist racing until they "age-out" (sailors must be under 16 years of age, per Optimist class rules), may continue to participate in the Optimist racing team, even if they are older than 12 years of age. We ask that students wear appropriate shoes (closed-toe, good grip) when participating in the Opti Red Program.
On the first day of each new session, student will need to pass a basic swim check. While life jackets are provided and required when on the water, each NCS student should be comfortable in and around the water and have basic swimming skills. The Optimist Racing Class meets at Children's Beach public boat ramp (at the dock, where a coach will be standing to meet and greet parents and children) on Harbor View Way on Monday - Friday afternoons from 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm. There will be no programs on July 4th due to the holiday and no programs on July 19th, due to the Coffin Cup. You must register for the Coffin Cup separately. Please plan on picking your student up promply at 4pm. Students who will not be meeting a parent, or who will be walking or biking home on thier own, must have their parent communicate this - in writing - to the coach on the first day of their session.
Please note: Beginning in 2012, NCS will charge a "Regatta Fee," per event, to students who travel with us to compete off island. This fee is not intended to be a financial burden to families and is instead intended to ease the logistics and realities of off-island travel for our coaches, staff, students and families. The fee is intended to cover both costs that families have incurred in the past, as well as a one additional cost that will assist NCS in off-setting the expense of keeping a vehicle and equipment off-island, and paying coaches to travel on weekends. The Regatta Fee will differ in amount, depending on the event (length of the event, number of meals, housing costs if any) and be billed to participants' families following each event.
NCS coaches will travel with a credit card. The coach/NCS will pay up-front for all ferry tickets, group meals, and any hotel fees. The Regatta Fee that is then billed to a family, following an event, will include:
- $5 for each breakfast a student buys (rarely purchased; provided at most events or by host family)
- $10 for each lunch (rarely purchased, provided at every event)
- $12 for dinner (almost always purchased)
- $x for RT ferry tickets (Group rates- usually $12-$15)
- $x for housing (NCS will continue to make every effort to find host families off-island, we rarely book hotels)
- $10 for additional coaching and gas to and from the event
If a student chooses to purchase anything off-island beyond this amount (additional food items, snacks, etc) it is up to the student to pay for him or herself. It will still be important for students to carry cash- $20- for unforeseen expenses (ie. ice cream, candy, soda.)
It is expected that a typical regatta fee will run in the range of $45 for an event where housing is provided ($12 in ferry tickets, $24 for two dinners, $10 for coaching, gas, equipment.) The only new expense for families should be the $10 coaching/gas fee.
** NOTE: Nantucket Community Sailing's instructors and coaches recommend that Opti Red/Racing sailors sign up for as many contiguous sessions as possible throughout the summer, with the recommendation that a sailor sails for the entire summer. Opti Red/Racing students are considered members of a team, working both together and as individuals to improve as much as possible over the course of the summer, and to represent NCS at regattas across the Cape and Islands.
Third and fourth-year Opti Red racers, as well as those students interested and per the discretion of the Program Director, are also encouraged to register to sail with us all day: by enrolling in the 420 Blue Program at Jetties Beach in the morning and Opti Red Program in the afternoons. Those Opti Red sailors, who have been racing with us for several seasons, should continue to compete in the Optimist, but are also of the age and skill level where they should begin to learn the skills so-necessary to sail in a 420. This will allow the transition between racing off-island in the Opti and racing off-island in the 420 to be more seamless and expeditious.**
Private lessons are offered in Hunter 140s or an equivalent boat at Polpis Harbor every Monday through Friday from 10:00 am - 11:30 am and 1:30pm - 3:00 pm, with an additional private lesson available on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm. Private lessons taught in Optis or Bugs, if available, are slightly higher than normal private lesson rates due to the use of a motorboat during instruction and are only available in the late afternoon timeslot. No more than three consecutive private lessons should be booked at one time and no more than seven lessons should be booked throughout the summer.
We ask that students wear appropriate shoes when participating in a Private Lesson. While life jackets are provided and required when on the water, each NCS student should be comfortable in and around the water and have the basic swimming skills.
Private lessons are also available during Nantucket Race Week, August 13th - 17th. These lessons will be on a separate schedule than the rest of the summer and will have two lessons available per time slot. Lessons will take place Monday - Friday from 9:00 am - 10:30 am, 10:30 am - 12:00 am and 1:00pm - 2:30 pm
Open to any participant of Polpis Harbor youth program sessions, the "Coffin Cup" is a mini regatta held annually in memory of Admiral Sir Isaac Coffin who founded the very first teaching/training vessel, Clio, for nautical studies in the United States. The regatta consists of a full-morning of short races with an emphasis on sportsmanship and having fun. Participation is open to any student within the Hunter or Opti programs during the 2013 season, and students will compete in the boat they are currently learning in.
Parents, guardians, siblings, friends and Guppies are encouraged to attend the regatta to watch. Spectator boats are almost always available on a first come, first serve basis to enable parents and friends to get out on the water where the action is! As with all our programs, we ask that students wear appropriate shoes when participating in the Coffin Cup Regatta.
Registration for this event will open on July 5, 2013. When you call to register your sailor you may also let us know if/how many spectators you will have joining and if you will be able to provide a healthy snack for the sailors award ceremony. To register, you must call the NCS office directly at 508-228-6600 to register and registrations are taken on a first come first serve basis. We apologize in advance, because we know this makes for a busy morning and that we only have four active lines, but voice messages do not count as a registration. You must speak to an NCS representative.
For students, ages 8 to 12 years , interested in experiencing sailing on a larger boat, the Youth Introduction to Keelboat Sailing class offers sailors the opportunity to cruise with a group of other students on our J/105, a 34.5' keelboat. Students will participate in steering and trimming sails, and be introduced to the most basic concepts of sailing on a larger boat. While this cruising class is technically operated out of our Jetties Sailing Center, the sailors will meet at the Children's Beach Ramp on Harbor View Way. Once dropped off, students will meet an NCS instructor and gather together at the Children's Beach location and then taken by skiff to one of the NCS Keelboats. Please note: students who are tardy for the start of class may miss the skiffs departure and therefore will miss that day within the program.
In order to ensure the safety of our students and to limit injuries on our J/105s, all students are required to wear closed-toe shoes when on the boat. J/105s have several cleats, lines, and uneven surfaces that can be sharp and dangerous for a barefoot student, or a student wearing shoes with open toes. A student who arrives at class, or for a lesson, and who is not wearing proper footwear, will not be allowed to participate in class that day. Examples of closed-toe shoes: old sneakers, water shoes (aqua socks), crocs, Keens. While life jackets are provided and required when on the water, each NCS student should be comfortable in and around the water and have the basic swimming skills.
While sunblock is highly recommended, we ask that no "spray sunblock" is used as the chemicals react to the finish on the boats. This program operates Monday-Friday mornings from 9:30 am - 12:00 pm.
The Water Sports Beach Class (WSBC) offers an alternative to sailing lessons at the Jetties Sailing Center. The WSBC is intended for students, ages 7 to 12 years, who are interested in becoming more comfortable on and around the water and in a variety of settings. Activities on the water include sailing, windsurfing and kayaking. These are highly wind and weather dependent, however, and are therefore supplemented with snorkeling, beach games and adventures. This class is taught with a focus on learning about and caring for the marine environment, which is reflected in daily lesson plans and activities.
Students are encouraged to bring a snack and water bottle in addition to normal beach, swimming and sailing gear. We ask that students wear appropriate shoes when participating in the Water Sports Beach Class. While life jackets are provided and required when on the water, each NCS student should be comfortable in and around the water and have the basic swimming skills. Students will meet their instructor at the Jetties Sailing Center for check-in between 9:20 and 9:30am. We ask that students do not arrive later than 9:45 am, as they may be asked not to attend for the day if the class has already left for an activity. The Water Sports Beach Class meets Monday-Friday at the Jetties Sailing Center from 9:30 am - 12:00 pm.
Please note: Due to its popularity, we no longer allow walk-up or daily registrations for this program.
Combining aspects of sailing and surfing on a one-person craft called a sailboard; windsurfing is an excellent way to learn or improve sailing skills; and to learn board control, balance, water starts, and planned jibes. Class size is limited to four students per session and is suggested for students 10 to 15 years old. We ask that students wear appropriate shoes when participating in the Windsurfing Clinic. As of 2013, the windsurfing clinic will run Monday - Friday from 9:30 am-12:00 pm, beginning June 24th at the Jetties Sailing Center.
Private windsurfing lessons are offered to all age groups every day, throughout the summer, rain or shine, for one hour. We ask that students wear appropriate shoes when participating in the Windsurfing Private Lessons. Please call the Jetties Sailing Center, beginning on June 23, 2013, at 508 228 5358 to schedule a lesson.
NCS is once again hosting a Family Cruise to Coatue! On Friday evening, August 2nd from 5:00pm - 8:00pm, participants will meet NCS instructors at our Jetties Sailing Center. Participants will then sail as a group in Rhodes 19s, Marshall Cat 15s, RS Visions, etc., with the help of an instructor in each boat, over to Second Point (distance will depend on tide and weather.) Once anchored off Coatue, families and instructors can enjoy a picnic dinner, play games and relax before sailing back to the Jetties Sailing Center. This event is intended to gather NCS students and their parents (or NCS students and their children!) in one setting, to enjoy an evening sail together. (Children under 16 years of age must be accompanied by a parent/guardian). Families must register each participant individually and each participant must be over the age of 15 years, or otherwise must have a parent or guardian attend the event with them. Each participant is responsible for their own food and beverage. Please note: The maximum number of people per boat is 4 students 1 instructor, so larger families will have to split up.
*This event will also be open to any friends of NCS, who have their own craft. They may sail to meet us at Coatue, and enjoy their picnics with us.
Polpis students, ages 11 and up, are invited to visit our Jetties Sailing Center on Thursday, August 8th from 5:30-7:30pm to check out the boats and equipment available to teen students in our Jetties Sailing Center Programs. Intended to introduce Polpis students to the Sailing Center in advance of transitioning to classes there, this evening is intended to be low-key and fun. NCS Polpis and Jetties Instructors will offer Polpis sailors opportunities to sail in 420s, RS Visions, and Rhodes 19s - and try out windsurfing equipment and paddleboards. This is a free event. We recommend that Polpis students come down and check out this open house style evening, to get a feel for the "next step" at NCS!
This program is run by the Egan Maritime Institute at the Nantucket Community Sailing's Jetties Sailing Center.
This summer, follow in the footsteps of those heroic islanders who risked their lives braving frigid waters and howling winds to save shipwrecked mariners. Sailors will work together aboard a restored Monomoy Surfboat, learning traditional maritime skills. Together they will explore in and around Nantucket harbor, investigate local marine habitats, visit historical sites, and meet individuals who continue to ply its waters. On the last day, students may also get a chance to row aboard an authentic reproduction of a whaleboat and learn what it was like to be a real whaler.
During the two week session, students will develop self-reliance as they master nautical skills and strengthen their collaborative problem-solving ability working with fellow sailors. Week 1 will focus on the basics of rigging the boat, preparing for travel, researching tides and currents, and working on the coordination of team rowing. Week 2 will build on previously taught skills and students will be introduced to taking compass bearings, triangulation, route-planning, and exploring and taking soundings of Nantucket harbor.
This program is for ages 10 - 13 years old, and no previous boating experience is required, but students should be competent swimmers. Students should wear bathing suits and appropriate (closed toe) shoes. All students are expected to bring a snack, water, sunscreen, a towel, an extra layer and a hat. Students should also bring lunch and extra water and snacks for the extended Friday class. We recommend these items be stored in a water resistant bag. Life jackets will be provided.
The session runs August 5-9, Monday-Friday from 9:30 am - 12:00 pm, with the exception of that Thursday which will run from 9:30 am - 3:30 pm and August 12-16, Monday-Thursday from 9:30 am - 12:00 pm and Friday from 9:30 am - 3:30 pm. Students may sign up for the first session or the second session, or for both sessions.
This program is capped at eight students, so space will be limited. Registration for this program will also take place on the Program Registration page. If you have additional questions, please contact The Egan Maritime Institutes Andrew Bauld at email@example.com.
A list of the program schedules, dates and times can be viewed on the Schedules & Fee's page.